Mshengu is a pseudonym for Robert Kavanaugh, South African theatre practitioner, arts educationist, cultural activist and academic. He was a Rhodes Scholar, alumnus of Cape Town, Oxford and Leeds, fourth generation African of Gaelic descent, conversant in six African and three European languages.
He has published several volumes of his plays. However, as Kavanaugh himself makes clear, he did not single-handedly write a single one of them. They are all plays in which he worked with actors or other writers in a playmaking process which he led and which produced a performance which he directed and sometimes acted in.
In 2012 he won the Ibsen Prize for a Southern African project called ‘Negotiating Ibsen in Southern Africa’.He is married with four children by his late wife, Thembani – Sibongile, Thando, Njabulo and Gugu – and three with his present wife, Hazvinei – Shalom, Rudairo and Ropafadzo.